Friday, 18 January 2013

She looketh well to the ways of her wardrobe

Moving swiftly on from my WW2 Rationing Chic attire, I thought I needed to pull something a little more exciting out of the wardrobe today.

Don't want to bore you lovely ladies, you might not come back - and I would really miss you!

I have had this 1960s maxi for ages but rarely wear it.
It fits well, has a fabulously funky geometric print, I love the colours, and you know I can't resist a maxi - so what's the problem?

I'll tell you.

That high neck is the problem.

It poufs out at the front, which irritates me, and I hate high necks - I do not possess anything with a turtle/roll neck. I don't like the feel of them against my skin. 
I know, I'm just a little freaky like that.

I wondered if I could cope better with the neckline if I shortened the dress into a mini - perhaps there is just too much of a good thing with that mad print?
But then I undid the back zip a little way, and turned the neck in to see how that would look, and I
am much happier!

Now I just need to alter it...

Any advice/assistance gratefully accepted. Since the zip goes right up to the high neck, I think I would have to take it out and replace it with a slightly shorter one, or just move the whole thing down.


There was a little snow on the ground from yesterday, but we have had lots more today, after I took these pics.

1960s D L Barron Crimplene maxi dress - flea market
Cardigan, bangles and faux fur coat - charity shopped
Boots - Ebay
I must say a big thank you to my lovely blog friend Kylie, who is always so kind and thoughtful and sends delightful gifts.

She sent me this hilarious tea towel, safe in the knowledge that I always looketh exceedingly well to the ways of my household.

And the Ladybird book covers contain an assortment of cards made from Ladybird illustrations.

Thank you, Kylie - you are a treasure!

It's been a slim week on the charity shopping front, but I did pick up a funny little object today for £3.

It's a carved wooden sliding book shelf with hinged ends.
Not particularly rare or amazing, but I like wood, and I like books.
The books on it are some of those I bought for the kids this week - the first two Twilight novels for Eldest; Charlie Higson,  Anthony Horowitz and Harry Potter for Seldom Seen; and Paddington Bear stories for Littlest.
All between 10p-£1.
I am so relieved the kids like to read, I am more than happy to scour the charity shops to feed their enthusiasm.

Have a fabulous weekend, my dears - try and keep warm or cool, depending on the conditions!



Anonymous said...


Love the dress-such a groovy print!!! I'd remove the existing zipper, adjust the neckline and install a new one.

What awesome goodies you've received!!

I am envying your snow. It's just cold and damp here!

freckleface said...

You don't get rid of us that easily ;)

Love this dress, it's a great colour, print, shape and I love it with that little ballerina top. I agree, it would be a shame to turn it into a mini and I also hate high necks...urgh...itchy neck, so your cunning plan to adjust the neckline is poifict.

No need to remove the existing zip, you can shorten it from the top and it will still work fine. Wish I could actually show you how to do's quite an easy job. xxx

grunge-queen said...

Ah yes, winter has come to the UK - think we must have gotten the same weather front as it snowed here too. :) I LOVE this dress on you, Curtise (I kinda like the neck on you) - the cut, and especially the colour and pattern, are super with your colouring. Can't help you with the alteration advice, alas, as my sewing abilities are limited to buttons. Love the bookends, though. I had an old 'pair' or retractable brass ones that I stupidly got rid of when I moved overseas. :( Have a great weekend! xoxo

P.S. Here's some turtleneck (or high neck, actually hubby says the Brits call them polo necks) trivia: if you are like me and love watching White Christmas around the holidays and marvel at the dancing of Vera-Ellen, the amazing (and amazingly thin) dancer who teams up with Danny Kaye in the film, you may notice, as I did this year only, that all her costumes in the film are comprised of turtlenecks. I asked the Google Gods after and apparently tutlenecks were her trademark - and sure enough, if you look at pics of her, they're everywhere!

Louise Mc said...

I love the dress, it's fantastic. I would remove the zip, shorten the zip and then replace the zip... no need to buy a new one.

I have always loved reading since I was a child too, I still do. That shelf is lovely, and only £3, bargain.


Krista Gassib said...

This dress is with the neck:) Can you modify it? I couldn't but maybe you could or a friend? The print and color just stunning. WIN WIN!!! I love that we can have our favorite outfits and this one is doing it for me!

I am a wee bit jealous of the snow and your funny little object. The books look right at home in it. Kids that like to read that is a nice treat, most spend far too much time in front of the tv.

Enjoy your weekend sweetie!

Loo xx from Jumbles and Pompoms said...

I LOve the dress too and yes it will look better with a lower neckline (I know what you mean about high necks - too restricitive). Can't offer any advice on the zip - I'm completely rubbish at that sort of thing. Kylie is amazing isn't she? xx

Ivy Black said...

I LOVE that maxi...what a fecking fantastic print. Don't mini it...that pattern is soooo good. Don't bother taking the zip out, shorten it at the top and turn it like you have in the pic.
Stay warm.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely yes what a funky cool print on your maxi, of course I'm loving the flashes of green. Although I not despise high neckline, I'm most certain I would feel the same way about the dress. No instruction on the altering process mi sure Helga or Vix would two go to lovelies for advice.

Best of luck with alteration, it's a keeper the prints to cool not to keep.

Vintage Coconut said...

Okay After you posted pictures on your last blog post I totally seen you in that line up. I was giggling to myself. But in reality you still looked good. You were dressed alot better than people I see daily when I am out and about.

NOW THIS DRESS.... is the SHIZZNIT!I love it so much I might even propose to it. *hahaha* I am with you on high necks though. Even from a child I HATED turtle necks and was always yanking on them yelling *it's choking me* until my Mom finally stopped buying the bloody things. *lol*
I also would want the neck altered. I would probably take it somewhere and get it done cause I would be afraid I would screw it up. The pattern and design and colors is just THE BEST! Hopefully someone with good sewing skills can give you perfect advice.

Connie said...

Dahling, you are NEVER boring! Such a beautiful green dress. Yes, leave it long, take down the turtle neck, do a little dance with the kitties and enjoy the snow.

Miss Magpie said...

God I hate roll necks can't bear the feel of them, I put it down to my Mum making me wear them all the time as a kid!

Melanie said...

Your hand photo is my daily inspiration!
As for the dress, your ideas are perfect - the pattern is so great and the short style suits. Being the slacker sewer (sower) that I am, I would snip off the zipper at the top at the required new length and then handsew thread stoppers so the zip tab doesn't fly off the end when you do it up. I have never tried this yet!! but I love the idea and will do so at some point. Try it on a scrap zip first maybe. Hack and sew.

PinkCheetahVintage said...

Ooooh that dress is very cool and you look great. I like mock turtlenecks but it's always so hot here I rarely ever buy/wear them. I'd leave the hemline long. The neck: I'm a shit sewer, so I'd have to have somebody alter that for me if it involved moving a zipper. If you could just cut/tuck/sew the neckline w/o moving the zipper then I might give that a go. Do what you got to do because if you''re not wearing it because of this one feature, then what the heck are you keeping it for for? Make it just right for you :)

Anonymous said...

You are striking in green! I'm so jealous you can wear all these things. And brrr, it sure looks cold in the UK right now. No snow in the Pacific NW right now unless you're in the mountains so I can't complain. It looks pretty where you are though. enjoy! drink hot chocolate! read good books! wear awesome clothes...oh wait, you're already doing that one.

two squirrels said...

Oh. Snow snow snow!!!! It's so pretty, as are you Mis Curtise. Now I would nearly always say shorten the dress, but I think this one is just meant to be a maxi. I would remove the turtleneck and make it a v-neck.
Look at the cute wee snow pussy cats!!!!
Stay warm and have a wonderful fun filled weekend.
Love V
The tea-towell from lovely Kylie is great

Amber of Butane Anvil said...

But I was having a perfectly fun time on the breadline with you!

This amazng-print dress needs to stay a maxi for sure! If you don't want to outsource the fix, I'm with Melanie on method but would add a hook and eye at the new top of the zipper to finish things off.

Your blue manicure and accessories are divine. xo

thorne garnet said...

Love the dress. Have someone, with white chalk, mark where you want the neck to be. Pick the zipper out to below that line, cut off the extra(leaving enough to have a seam to sew back together)Sew the seam back together, and the zipper, too. Ta Da! lower neck dress.

Vera Allen always wore a high/turtle neck because she had anorexia and her neck was all ropey. Notice how thin she looks next to Rosemary Cloony.

Helga! said...

Yes, that is an awesome frock-except for the weird neck!!! Shouldn't be too tricky to alter.I'd take the zip out and pop it back in myself.And cut it a little lower, even make it a V neck or something.The print is divine, it flows beautifully! it's too good to give up on!
O, kitties in the snow! I thought mine were the only cats silly enough to go into the snow! Peepers even plays in it! We just had a week of rain, back to the heat.Won't be long before I'm shivering my tits off and you lot are slithering about in short sleeves though!
Love you long time!XXXXXXXXXX

joyatri said...

Oh, so that's the D.L Barron dress you mentioned when I posted about the one I bought with Vix. I'm torn about shortening it. I'd hate to sacrifice all the incredible print (then again you can give the cut-off bit to Vix and she'd make a another frock out of it) but I like it better as a mini on you.
I have one of those book-end thingies. Although yours appears to have been made in India with all that lovely carving.

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

I really like the print, so I think it would be worth it to shorten the dress and to cut a V neckline...easy adjustments. I like all of your treasures!! Have a great weekend...

Gracie O'Tripp said...

I love the emerald green though my daughter tells me it is "mot my color". Humph. Anyway it is beautiful especially with that little black sweater. I agree with you that the high necklines are gorgeous but after a couple of hours they become very uncomfortable. Hope you can find a way to make it work for you. It's a great look.

Jean at said...

Like the others, I truly love this dress. The colors and and silhouette suit you beautifully!!! Loving maxis the way I do, I would definitely leave it long. I also hate high necks, although I will say this looks good on you! But if you're not comfortable then it must go.

I agree that the best way would be to remove the zipper, cut out the neck and hem, then reinstall the zipper. Or something like that. I'm spoiled by knits, which are hugely forgiving. You look glorious in the snow, with your adorable cats as accessories. And yes, reading is the key. Whether it's fiction, non-fiction, WHATEVER! Keep them reading!! You are the best. :-)

Vintage Bird Girl said...

Oh I'm liking this frock very much, but I'm sure that's no surprise to you. I'm the same about high necklines. I hate turtle-necks. I seem to be so hot blooded that I ALWAYS overheat in them. And I hate that restricted feeling across my neck. So alter away if it makes it more wearable. I'm looking wistfully at that snow as I perspire here in 35degree heat.

Better watch out saying it's been 'slim pickings' at the op shops, you know "Jamie" might accuse you of being greedy!!! Haha. Karma "Jamie" will come & getcha, if my blog buddies don't getcha first! Xx

bonsaimum said...

That must be one of the most beautiful coloured maxi dresses I have ever seen. :)

CityScape Skybaby said...

I think that dress is gorgeous Curtise, I love the colour and print and even the high neck as well. But if you're not happy with it then I would definitely alter it, but being crap at sewing, I would take it to the local alterations shop and let them sort it out. It's too nice to leave unworn when just a small change will make you love it. Love your prezzies from Kylie and your bookends and all the children's books. I buy just about all my kids' books in the charity shops too, Paddington Bear makes me very nostalgic, I loved him when I was a kid. xx

Fiona said...

How brave are you Mrs, posing against a snowy backdrop, it must have been freezing. Your pusses are hardcore also, mine is too precious to go out in snow, think she has been crossing her legs for the last 24hrs. Love the colour, print and neckline of your maxi, I'm always cold so like anything with a high or polo neck plus it hides the scraggy old skin!
Hope you've got your thermal drawers on.

Marla Robinson said...

The green shade and pattern of your dress is so pretty. It goes wonderfully well with your hair and skin tone. Love it with your black furry jacket. Looks so cold there with the snow.

Anonymous said...

That dress is glorious!!I love the lenght, everything is perfect..but I hate high neck too!I remember the suffocating feeling as a child and when I started to dress by myself I avoided to wear any high neck clothes or I could spend the whole day with my hand inside the dress trying to separate my neck from the fabric!
The zip removal is not an easy work, good luck with that!
The black fur coat is splendid too!
Have a great weekend!!
Love xxxx

Miss Simmonds Says said...

I've had a couple of high neck tops and dresses with zips and I just cut the neck off and they look fine and the zip just stays in place! even after washing. You might not like such a barbaric approach! THat dress has to be adjusted cos it looks so gorgeous on you, you need to wear it more. How's the snow? It's pretty heavy down here. Always love the supermodel pussy shots! That teatowel is bizarre but amazing. Love the book shelf, I've always wanted one of those
Have a great weekend!!

Diane said...

That print is fabuloso! It looks fab. Hope youve not got too much snow! xxxx

Emalina said...

That beautiful dress looks magnificent on you. Wonderful colours. I'm just the same, I hate high necks, particularly on dresses as they make the boobs look humungous!

Sacramento Amate said...

Perfect colour, perfect print and shape, but get rid of the neck if it bothers you.
I find high necks itchy, too.
We are having heavy winds and rain today, but over 15º no chance of snow.
Enjoy the warmth.

Miss Z said...

Hello dear!
Nice blog you have!
I think we should follow each other!
What do you say ? Kisses . Muuuuah

silvergirl said...

What a great print and the color mix is fabulous
I especially love it with the black fur coat, just makes those colors pop

karensomethingorother said...

I haven't looketh-ed to my household very well in the past week. Pppft. Who cares. Curtise, I love that dress. I like the bold colours on the black background. I thought the high collar looked nice, but then, I don't think I have many myself! I can't remember the last time I wore a turtleneck.

Trees said...

That dress is perfect and SO YOU! I'm glad you've worked out a way to alter it to make sure its on regular rotation in your wardrobe:)

Anonymous said...

I love the vibrant print of that dress but agree that maybe it would be better as a mini not a maxi :)

Tamera Beardsley said...

Your looking lovely as always my dear!

Sabrina said...

Hm, I do see what you mean by the high neck. I like the look of high necks sometimes though because they give off a more refined look. And that print on the dress is so gorgeous!


Secret Squirrel said...

I prefer it as a maxi dress. Such a beautiful pattern that I think is shown off better by it being long. Definitely a keeper!

It may have been said already, but a seamstress could shorten the zip (by sewing across the teeth,and refitting the zipper/moving it down), so I would take it to a tailor/seamstress and et them to take the neckline lower and shorten the zip.

Anonymous said...

Your dress is a lovely colour and it's great as a mini. Is it the whole neck you don't like? Would a piece out of the front work for you? Moving/ altering the zip isn't difficult if you've got some less beautiful stuff to practice on first. Otherwise, I think a professional is probably the way to go.

Sacramento Amate said...

You are so wise, and so true, Curtise. It is more of a guideline and a wish to help.
Much love, dear friend.

Lakota said...

Aren't the notecards from Kylie fab? I love mine and really think she should be selling them (also that I should be writing more letters). I don't generally do a high neck either, although mainly cos they don't flatter the boobage. I do love that pattern on the maxi though, it's gorgeous.

ps. Don't pretend you haven't had a quick flick through Twilight just to see what all the fuss was about...

Forest City Fashionista said...

The pattern on that maxi is so cool, I wouldn't shorten it, but definitely re-shape the neck line. It looks great paired with the long-sleeved shrug. I was a voracious reader as a child, glad to know there are still some out there. Someone put some serious work into that book shelf!

Sheila said...

Gorgeous maxi - what a great pattern! I have the same issue with a lot of 70s dresses - I can't stand a high neck in most clothes.

Love the pics of your kitties!

The Style Crone said...

The pattern and color are beautifully striking and look fabulous with your hair. With the snow and a touch of green in the background, picture perfect. Boring would NEVER be a word to describe you or your ensembles.

How wonderful that your kids love to read and a mother that finds endless amounts of books for them at charity shops.

delia hornbook said...

Do you know what you and me are so like its uncanny. I to cant stand anything up close to my neck i cant even wear a scarf i reckon i must have been hung in a past life or something. Looking gorgeous as always though you are. Love the cats in the snow.My Timmy hasnt sent foot outside since it fell he is scaredy cat for sure. Have a great week, dee xx

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

There's no way you could EVER, EVER bore me!!! You can't keep me away. So there! The frock is bleedin' gawwwwwwwwwwjus and oh it is definitely worthy of the neck alteration to make it more comfortable. I'm very much the same - can't stand the pressure on my neck either. The adjustment is bound to be a success, you could use the same zip, just unpick some stitches in the back seam so the base of the zip will end up being an inch or two below its present spot. I'm so happy to hear your kids are readers, the oppies are a goldmine for books:) xoxoxo

Lynne DeVenny said...

Oh, Paddington! How I adore thee!

Hmmm, what does one have to do to looketh well to the ways of her household? Seriously, I haven't a

As for the dress, that print is amazing and beautiful. You look like new moss. Which is a compliment. I love new moss. I like it long, but 100% agree it just needs an altered neckline.

Mrs. D said...

I love the dress and I think you should keep the length.
I love buying books form the charity shops. There really is no excuse for people not to read these days, with so many good books at such affordable prices. We don't have charity shops in Portugal (only one or two and certainly not in the same way it is done here) and every time some friends come over they stock up on books and dvds at ridiculous prices to take back :D